Romance Awareness Month

The month of August is designated Romance Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to spotlight romance titles.

Honeycomb

Not everyone knows what a romance novel really means – I talk to tons of people who aren’t sure.

There’s a fool proof definition: A romance ends with a happily ever after.

In adult romances, books end with the couples married or engaged or together for the rest of their lives. For teens, it’s more likely happily ever after for now. Most teen books don’t end with marriage or the acknowledgement that they found their soul mate (although a few do.). Even in teen romances, the couple falls in love and are together at the end of the book.

It doesn’t matter if you fall in love in the book if the book doesn’t end happily. Nicholas Sparks doesn’t usually write romance. The Fault in Our Stars isn’t a romance. Romeo and Juliet isn’t a romance. Sure those books have elements of romance in them, but they are not romance books; they’re missing that one key ingredient of happily ever after.

Continue reading Romance Awareness Month

Do You Want Fries with That?

We’re coming up on national waiter/waitress day (May 21!), so I took the opportunity to create a list of books featuring teen waiters/waitress. Add in your favorites in the comments.

waiter

Diners/Restaurants:

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Romy seeks refuge in the diner where she works after no one believes her account of a sexual assault. When her former friend goes missing, Romy must decide if it’s worth speaking up – again.

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Hudson threw away her dreams when her family fell apart. Now she hides in her mom’s diner baking cupcakes and thinking of the past. When her past comes back around to give her another chance – she isn’t sure which life she will choose.

Crash by Lisa McMann (a 2014 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers)
Jules falls for a boy who’s family owns the other pizza joint in town – and she’s not allowed to talk with Sawyer. When a troubled vision shows her the death of Sawyer, she realizes she must do something to save him.  Continue reading Do You Want Fries with That?

Singles Ads, YA Book Style

_DSC2226 (2)It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air! Then again, when it comes to YA books,  love is always in the air around here.

Inspired by the Blind Date with a Book displays that are popping up in libraries this week, we are sharing some YA book singles ads with you. Read the blurb and try to guess which which book is looking for a reader. Answers will appear after the break.

Feel free to share your own blurbs in the comments!

  • Jessica Lind

1.  “Historical fiction seeks reader for a look at the effect of WWII on a Lithuanian family. This is a date for fans of beautifully written stories of hope during the toughest of times.”

2.  “Contemporary YA novel seeks reader as date for school trip to England. Shakespeare, mobile phones, and love await you.” 

3.  “Modern update on classic story seeks reader to flashback to New York’s rock scene in the eighties. Must be willing to jump between timelines to solve a mystery.”

4.  “Totally rockin’ graphic novel seeks reader to, you know, just, like, hang out. An interest in music and old school video games would be a total plus. May be required to travel through Subspace.”

  • Erin Daly

5.  “Sweet and funny romance seeks reader who loves film and Parisian travel.”

6.  “Modern fantasy seeks reader to explore the magical possibilities of origami, sentient textbooks, and folding reality.”

7.  “Collection of short stories seeks reader with a wide range of esoteric interests ranging from raising the dead to ethnography of magicians to television shows about libraries and boys who inherit phone booths to handbags with entire fairy realms inside.”

8.  “Suspenseful dystopian novel seeks reader to resist the alien invasion while reminiscing about the past and keeping alive the vow to rescue a sibling.”

  • Geri Diorio

9.  “Heartbreakingly realistic boarding school novel seeks reader who can handle rugby, violence, sexual fantasies, and growing pains. Enjoying comics is a plus.”

10.  “Award winning book linking seven stories across time and space seeks speculative fiction loving reader who wants to puzzle out the mysteries of love, family, and sacrifice.”

11.  “Like fairy tales? Like ghost stories? How about mysteries? Acclaimed YA novel combining all these elements seeks reader who is open to the idea of spirits from the past guiding us in the present. Must have courage and ability to resist pastries.”

12.  “Modern retelling of Shakespearian play seeks reader who is open to seeing what the minor characters can do. Love of fencing, thievery, an unrequited love a huge plus.”

  • Jennifer Rummel

13.  “The family next door has always been off limits, but that was before girl met boy. Now they secretly date.”

14.  “Girl has a gift and a curse. Someone wants to use her for a weapon, but she’s about to fight back.”

15.  “Girl gets sucked into dreams – one boy in particular has nightmares that could come true.”

16.  “Girl’s BFF moves away. She’s devestated until an interesting boy crosses her path.”

Continue reading Singles Ads, YA Book Style

What London Teens Are Reading

2TheListIt’s time for the 7th Annual Tower Hamlets Book Award! A list of 40 nominated books selected by librarians and pupils has been released to participating schools in the Tower Hamlets Borough in London. The competition has a couple of stages. In July, a shortlist is announced, just in time for summer reading. (Summer term ends in late July.) Pupils and librarians vote, and in November the winner is announced.

Originally, I wanted to compare their list of nominees to our list of 2013 Teen Top Ten nominees. Turns out they have only one book in common: Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity. So this post mainly focuses on the THBA, because there are some new and interesting titles found there.

Continue reading What London Teens Are Reading

Mend A Broken Heart: Homeless and Abused Teens in YA Fiction

homeless
from Flickr user SamPac
February is Mend a Broken Heart month, but no, it isn’t about sending flowers to friends who are mourning a break-up. This awareness campaign is sponsored by My Stuff Bags Foundation, an organization that supports America’s children who have been abused, neglected, and abandoned by the very people who should love them most. These children leave their homes, often entering crisis shelters and foster care with no personal belongings, and this organization partners with social service agencies to provide basic necessities to these children.

Tragically, too many of today’s youth experience abuse and neglect, and many are homeless. To commemorate Mend a Broken heart month, we’re promoting ways in which you can help these teens and spotlighting young adult fiction that deals with the difficulties they face.

Continue reading Mend A Broken Heart: Homeless and Abused Teens in YA Fiction